from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n.pl. The papyrus scrolls and scroll fragments discovered between 1947 and 1960 at sites along the Dead Sea, mostly dating from the last two centuries B.C., containing passages from books of the Hebrew Scriptures and from apocryphal biblical books, as well as sectarian writings. They are of great importance for reconstructing the compilation of the Hebrew Scriptures and for understanding Jewish culture in the era immediately preceding the birth of Jesus.
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